God=Love and It’s Personal

God=Love and It’s Personal

Don’t miss Jen’s discovery that God=Love:

Growing up in the Bible Belt, I was frequently exposed to the expression “God is Love.” I saw it on t-shirts, bumper stickers and the occasional Precious Moments figurine, and figured that I pretty much knew what it meant: it was a shorthand way of describing one of God’s characteristics, i.e. “God (that Guy we believe in who’s kind of like a dad, only nicer) is love (meaning he’s really, really, really loving).” Right?

It is only recently that I realized that I had it wrong. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the conversion process, maybe the biggest lesson I learned in my life, was that the phrase “God is Love” is meant to be taken literally: God is love. God = Love. It’s not just some characteristic, but his essence. To paraphrase the Cynical Christian’s recent post on a similar subject, when we say “God is love,” we’re not describing what God is, we’re describing what love is—love is God.

and Simcha’s reflections on how God’s love is personal, that of a bridegroom, not an abstraction:

But Christ is not talking to a crowd. He is talking to me. He didn’t invite the whole Church as his abstract, collective bride—he asked me to come and meet Him.

I’m still a little bit stunned at this new-old idea, and I haven’t figured out what it means yet. So far, I’ve discovered that when I sin, it’s not just “what we humans do”—it’s personal.

There’s another side to that terrifying discovery, though: if it’s personal on my end, then that must mean that if I were the only person in the world, He would still have become a man and died for me.

If I hear the word of God as a vague, disjointed speech, it’s not because the crowd is too big or because He doesn’t know how to project His voice. It’s because He’s trying to get my attention, and I keep trying to blend in, pretending I think He’s speaking in abstract terms to abstract people. He keeps proposing marriage, and I keep changing the subject. He keeps trying to put the ring on my finger, and I keep pulling my hand away.


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